I love June! Not just because it's my birthday month, but because it also kicks off the best season of the year: summer! And along with summer comes lots of delicious ripe fruit like watermelon. This super-hydrating fruit (90% water) contains a powerhouse of nutrients. While many of us already enjoy this delicious red treasure, here are six more reasons to consume it as much as possible this season.
Watermelon is high in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent heart disease and many types of cancer. Watermelon also improves blood flow by improving blood pressure and reducing cardiac stress.
It helps relieve and prevent cramps and muscle pain due to the amino acid citrulline. Citrulline also supports kidney function. Due to watermelon’s high citrulline content, it has also been shown to help with erectile dysfunction by relaxing the blood vessels.
It contains generous amounts of beta carotene, which helps strengthen the eyes and boost the immune system.
You can consume the rind! This is best consumed by juicing. The rind of a watermelon contains more nutrients than its flesh, and has vitamin C, lycopene, and many other antioxidants.
Watermelon reduces water retention, helps balance hormones, and may help prevent the accumulation of fat.
It can also be used to as an easy one-day cleanse or flush. Be sure to consult with your healthcare practitioner. The cleanse consists of simply eating nothing but one large watermelon throughout the day. If possible, include the rind by juicing it and blending it with one or two cups of watermelon flesh. Be sure to buy only organic, seeded watermelon. Eat one half of the watermelon in the morning and the rest during the afternoon. If you have blood sugar sensitivities, this cleanse would need to be modified to include other foods such as leafy greens and herbs.
Charoensiri R, Kongkachuichai R, Suknicom S, et al. Beta-carotene, Lycopene, and Alpha-tocopherol Contents of Selected Thai Fruits. Food Chemistry, Volume 113, Issue 1, 1 March 2009, Pages 202-207.
Edwards AJ, Vinyard BT, Wiley ER, et al. Consumption of Watermelon Juice Increases Plasma Concentrations of Lycopene and Beta-carotene in Humans. J Nutr 2003 Apr;133(4):1043-50. 2003.
Cormio L1, De Siati M, Lorusso F, Selvaggio O, Mirabella L, Sanguedolce F, Carrieri G. Urology. 2011 Jan;77(1):119-22. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2010.08.028. Oral L-citrulline supplementation improves erection hardness in men with mild erectile dysfunction.